The Art of Reading, Memorization, and True Learning

Reading is a most obvious and direct act as far as when people want to learn something these days.

As much as reading is being done (or forced to be done LOL), especially in school, it occurs to me that no one, no curriculum ever attempts to explain and teach the art of reading.

In a nutshell, when people do reading these days for learning, it simply equates memorization of a butt load of information.

However, after years of reading on my own NOT for school, I have come to realize that reading is so much more than that. One can never realize the joy and pleasure of reading that way, nor the true nature of learning when we do reading. Nope, not through memorization.

Although, having an encyclopedic mind is very convenient. It can get you pass most education system with flying A’s. At least, memorization is a skill I adopted from Asian schooling, and relied heavily from middle school through high school to get those A’s and 4.0s when my English is as crappy (fobbish?) as it comes.

Real fun in reading, is the connection with the author. A genuine author that is. No, I am no telling you to call the author, or dig him up from his grave. Hmmm, bad joke :P

Behind the words that one such worthy author had penned down, we can only imagine the experience, emotion, and thoughts he had, and only after a process of integration into their own mind, heart, and soul, does he put into words. Thus, if we simply read the words at face value, we may simply pick up 10-20% of what he intendeds to communicate for us to think, feel, and understand.

Once again, this is if the author is genuine. This is especially true if you venture into reading text on religion, philosophy, and also teachings of any art form.

Reading the words of text is like the process of picking up dots. It is up to you to connect the dots, by going through your own process of integration.

Read not just with your mind but also with your heart. Read beyond the words.

Memorization gets you through school. True learning requires more than that.

Originally posted 2010-09-30 23:55:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Treating the Symptoms and Not the Root of Problems

These days you open the financial news section, there isn’t a whole lot of good news going on in the section.
You see news about people losing their homes to foreclosures, due to “unforeseen” results of lending.
You see news about financial and investment companies losing their pants due to the subprime heap of mess.
You see news about toys recalls and decrease of quality in other products, due to cost cutting.
You see news about people’s booty falling into piles of credit card debt.
You see news about boomers retiring with inadequate savings, due to…I really don’t know, probably a bunch of reasons (excuses).

In turn, people write and argue in the media about what methods to fix each of those problems, and in some cases, bailing out those people. I’d like to say people have gotten it all wrong. I say those problems are just symptoms of a rampant issue in society. By implementing method that solve each of those problems will only provide solutions in the short term. On the long haul, they will come back to bite us once again, and probably with a vengeance.

I say the main issue is greed and irresponsibility. People are so drugged up with greed that lead to a lot of the problems we see today. Profits, profits, profits. And with only profits in mind, people took actions in order to make profits while ignoring or denying the fact that they will be responsible for the consequence later, as is happening in the market these days. As for individual consumers, they have been irresponsible of their own financial matters and future, buy junks and luxury in the cost of future.

Hence, instead of solving those individual problems, I would urge people to put a tap on their greed and blatant ignorance to responsibility. If only people can learn to exercise self-control, maintain a clear mind, practice some discipline, understand responsibility… but those don’t sound very fun. Such boring mumbo-jumbo.

Making quick money is so much more fun!
Having all these things is so much more exciting!
Oh right, eating junk food is so much more fun too!

Perhaps I should shut up, as I appear to be the insensible one here. Or not?

Originally posted 2007-11-21 23:49:29. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Art of Doing Nothing


I think we are under a kind of illusion about life. Or should I say, modern life?

It’s all about productivity
It’s all about technological advances.
It’s all about the newest and greatest.
It’s all about moving forward, progress.

And also allow me to make a blunt statement, that in the name of progress, our successes become failures.

Maybe we ought to take a minute and stop to do nothing. More than the question of what and how to do, NOW. Perhaps it is time to consider what not to do. That it maybe a good idea to do nothing than do just anything.

So many of us, come out of the mothers’ womb and from that moment, we are to take off and start running, metaphorically. We say “Life is short.”

We also say “Life has a purpose. And the purpose is to get to that point.”

So therefore, we are to learn to eat, pee, poop, talk, walk, run, and then to get educated, to become successful, to contribute to community and the world… as fast as possible. Meanwhile we learn parents’ and elders’ ways of living philosophy, friends’ advice, society trend, marketing information and what not. Over the years, we accumulate more and more identities and expectations.

“Life has a purpose. And the purpose is to get the that point.”

Ah, so many things to do and accomplish.
From birth, we ought to never stop.
No matter what, we just gotta keep doing.

And so that is how humans had been for past hundreds, if not the last one or two thousands years.

As a result, we are incapable of knowing when not to do something. Or rather, we suck at doing nothing.

So there’s always supposed to be a point. But what point exactly is that? That we MUST have a purpose? We are ALWAYS to be productive? So much for free will.

We spellbind ourselves into the illusion that we must be doing something.

Despite all that. I find that in life, we only need to do a few things right in life to have a decent time. That much is definitely the truth.

However, because we must do something always, we do a lot of things that create messes and troubles and then we spend the rest of the time fixing them. Probably making more messes and troubles because we are not very good at doing nothing.

If we are able to do nothing, there are much less things for us to set right.

In a orchestra performance, each instrument is to wait until the exact moment to come in and out. In between, it is to be silent. Unable to do exactly that, the performance is ruined.

Doing the right thing in life is the same. Knowing in your bone who you are, what to do, and what to apply at the right moment. You simply do it. And you know exactly when to act because you are not busy doing something else.

Like a beast attacking its prey. Attack at the exact right moment means there is a meal. Any slight error means nothing to eat, perhaps for days.

However, the instance for us modern people is more so where let alone all the things we must do to succeed and accomplish, we also over-dose ourselves socially, mentally, and emotionally.

It is no wonder we all seem to end up with social, mental, emotional indigestion. Well, and likely physical indigestion too :P

When we cease to do nothing, we never get the chance to be with ourselves. We never learn to live with ourselves. We never come to understand ourselves. We never give our brain and body a chance to recuperate.

And most of us don’t even sleep enough.

The situation of the world and the state of affair amongst humans are self-spoken and evident enough that such living attitude is bringing us to the verge of going estranged That is, if you think we are not already estranged.

A derived question from this topic, but nonetheless as important, is that as good as us modern people are with thinking and so fascinated by it that we even think about thinking, when and how do we stop thinking?

Because, doing nothing includes the cessation of thinking.

Some of you may find this somewhat doom and gloom?

Well, quite the opposite, the only reason and it is pointed out, and the fact that somebody (because I am not alone to observe this) can point this out, means that something can be done about it, by each of us. If you choose to.

Originally posted 2010-01-18 00:58:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Capitalism Means No True Happiness?

My answer would be yes to the question, if we live purely or mostly by the value of capitalism.
Otherwise, this post would not exist. Ha!

Living in this capitalistic world, I can to see why the people with [monetary] power could possibly not want people to gain knowledge. The knowledge that I’ll explain now.

I truly believe when it’s all said an done, true happiness lies within ourselves. Once we can find this peaceful, gentle, kind, compassionate self within ourselves, we can come to acceptance to our true self and therefore, be able to ALWAYS act upon that. And with that, we’ll continue to empower this identify of “self”, so we don’t lose control eating, spending, chasing after ephemeral, etc. In other word, NOT looking in the outside world or from materials to fulfill this happiness that is so grounded in human beings, and also the root of all our actions, if one cares to trace and think deep enough.

If it’s so easy, why aren’t we all happy yet?
Well, it is not easy.
Nor is it fancy.
Which is why you don’t always hear this. (or do you?)

And why capitalism means no true happiness?
Because if everyone starts to find “this way to happiness” because those sales people’s numbers will go down.

Or if they do somehow try to teach you this idea, they’ll sell it in DVDs…in a series, and keep you buying next DVDs that only contain missing or repetitive information from the last.
Maybe I’m being too cynical.
But nonetheless, I’m serious that they don’t want you to know.

If you think about what I said about finding happiness in yourself and THEN understand and THEN practice it, a lot of the goods and services that they claim will somehow directly or indirectly make you happier will no longer be needed. These myriads of consumeristic “things” they offer will lose their appeals and they will no longer have a business.

This is we why are bombarded with advertising, most plausibly.
Make us buy.
And keep buying.
Keeps us from thinking.
Keep us from realizing.

Their advertising so advertently strives to remind and “brainwash” people that they need more “things” to be happy. Strategy may include confusion tactics, meaning that we may just got lured to buy because there is waaaaay too much information than we can ever process cause us to be in a state of confusion.

Either way, the main point of this post is NOT about discarding materials completely and going into monkhood.

We are commoners.
And we want certain standard of livings.
At least for comfort.
I know I do.

The POINT is…
We must work on the inside of ourselves to be truly happy.

I said it’s not easy, despite it being a simple idea. It is because to approach the state of true happiness that I mentioned requires continuous effort, to maintain and develop the ourselves. You need to be consistently aware of your mind, your body, your attitude. From that, you gather information about yourself only then to think and evaluate “what” to keep and “what” to discard and “what” to develop.

In fewer words…
You will maintain a consistent state of self-evaluation (aka. understand yourself).
You will maintain also a consistent effort to improve (aka. remove bad habits, make good new ones).

Yes, that’s why it’s not so easy, but then once you are in the groove, it doesn’t seem so tough either.
So every step you take in this manner will make you stronger for the next.
Didn’t I say life is a spiral before?

The thing is… Majority of population maybe able to start and keep up some extraordinary effort for a day, a week, several weeks, a month, several months…but years after years? I think we all know how it is. It is even harder when these business people don’t like this idea and would do anything to convince us otherwise.

But we all have to start from somewhere.
Why don’t you start today?
I know I have, otherwise this blog will not exist.

And even if my posts are confusing (hopefully not) and make no sense what-so-ever to you, check out the links I provide in the navigation on the right. Those personal finance and personal development blogs contain LOTS of great information and quality content that I myself have learned much from.

Originally posted 2007-09-06 00:58:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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